From the moment women were first able to choose to whom they would devote their lives, they have been faced with the decision that Meredith faced on the final episode of the Bachelorette. Every woman has asked the same question at some point in her life. Which is real? Which is more valuable? Security, warmth, adoration, fearlessness, calm, and everything you've ever thought you wanted; or passion, excitement, adventurousness, risk, and everything that makes you question all you've ever believed. Which will last a lifetime? Can they coexist in the same man? the same love?
Meredith followed her heart. She went for the passion, the excitement...she took the risk. It seems that maybe she found it all. Only she will know, and she may not know that for quite a long time.
What about the rest of us, though? We all want to believe that we can find everything we've ever wanted in that passionate exciting man. We want to believe the love that makes our toes curl will be the same love that holds our hands when we're wrinkled and gray. We want to believe it so badly that we take the risk on that unstable adventure in hopes that it will be what we've always wanted. We take the risk because movies, literature, songs, and television have all taught us that real love steals your breath away and makes it absolutely impossible to live without the other person. The media has drilled it into our hopeful heads that the passion will conquer all. We forget that Romeo and Juliet died before they had their first real tiff, Bogart watched his girl fly away from Casablanca, Anna Karenina threw herself onto the train tracks, and Cinderella never made an appearance after the wedding (until Disney's recent release of Cinderella 2, which surely has the Grimm brothers' rolling in their graves). We never see real love around us unless we're one of those few and far between who have real loving parents who stick it out and are still passionate and happy after three kids and a mortgage.
Not to discount that passion at all. Every woman, and man, most likely, understands the feeling of knowing a person who is everything she ever wanted but it still just doesn't seem right. Something doesn't click. With Meredith, this didn't seem to be the case. She made it very evident that she did not see a reason to end the relationship with either man, she simply HAD to make a choice. I wish Meredith all the best, and it is certainly not my intention to sound disrespectful of her decision. However, I fully believe that there comes a certain point when a woman learns that passion means many things. Passion doesn't have to come with instability or questions or incredible risk. "Safe" love comes with risks, too. Passion doesn't have to mean not being sure of where the other person stands or having mysteries abound in the relationship. Passion can be loving someone so deeply that you are willing to trust them to make adventures with you and breed excitement simply by the fact of being together.
Matthew "is" (based on my perception as a viewer who only saw what the producers wanted me to) a wonderful man, but I think that is probably one of the worst things a man can hear from a woman he loves when he's unsure of where he stands. You know something has to follow it. When you love a man deeply, you don't need to tell him how wonderful he is...he knows by your devotion, he hears it every time you say "I love you," and he feels it every time you touch him.
I think Matthew is so much more than that. He cared enough about Meredith to keep his concerns to himself. She had enough on her plate, and he refused to add to the complexity. He knew she was having a hard time, but rather than make a big deal out of it, he chose to offer her a time of fun and security without worries. Matthew didn't need to discuss it all with Meredith; he simply trusted her decision. He didn't need to input his own thoughts. He knew it was ultimately up to her and what she felt.
After Meredith told Matthew that she had fallen in love with Ian, Matt proved himself even more of the wonderful man he'd shown himself to be throughout the entire ordeal. He displayed a shining example of true class and respect for women, and Meredith inparticular. Matthew knew Meredith had made her decision, so he showed only love for her and went so far as to comfort HER when SHE broke his heart.
Matthew put his heart on the line every time he saw Meredith. He never held back, and he trusted it all to work out as was meant. In the limo Matthew asked the question we all ask when we've put our hearts on the line and had them dashed at our feet..."Am I a fool?"
I would like to say something to Matthew:
Are you a fool? Perhaps. But would you even question that at all had she chosen you? Not a chance. So many of us are so desparate for love that we've thrown our hearts out there and watched them trampled...and so many of us have become cynical. You stand out among men in so many ways for so many reasons. Please don't let this make you cynical. Hold back for a bit, protect yourself, but know that there are women out there who are searching for you. I mean, c'mon...we all know most of the guys have received myriad wedding propositions already. Know that putting your heart out there is the only thing that will allow you to find real love. You will find it.
Meredith said she had stronger feelings for someone else and that was the ONLY reason she didn't choose Matthew. I call those stronger NOW feelings. Perhaps Meredith found it all. I repeat myself now by asking again, can passion and security coexist? Can we really have it all? Maybe Meredith does...again, we won't know. Most of us look for all of it right away, and we say those feelings of passion and excitement are stronger, so we go for those. I think yes, we CAN have it all...but it doesn't all come at once. When you find someone who offers you love, safety, understanding, comfort, and everything else you've ever wanted, you already feel a kind of passion for them...you can create the rest.
Hell, Matthew, I'll marry you. Even without that great big diamond. :) I'm sure a million girls out here would say the same.
I say I would because I know what I want, and I think I know how to get it.
I want it all.